Sustainable energy concerns answered at Saudi smart grid conference

Prince Dr. Bandar Al-Saud inaugurates the seventh Saudi Arabia Smart Grid conference. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 14 December 2017
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Sustainable energy concerns answered at Saudi smart grid conference

JEDDAH: The seventh Saudi Arabia Smart Grid (SASG) conference was convened on Wednesday at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel with a focus on “smart solutions for sustainable energy.”
The conference commenced with words from Deputy Minister for Energy Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji; the governor of the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Dr. Abdullah Al-Shehri; Saudi Aramco’s director of energy systems engineering Abdulhamid Al-Omair; in the presence of Prince Dr. Bandar Al-Saud, assistant to the minister of interior for technology affairs.
Al-Shehri told Arab News: “The ECRA released regulations on uses of small solar panels in houses and residential facilities, and gave the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) until next June to prepare equipment and meet specific requirements to ensure that the quality of solar panels meets these regulations.
“Currently, the SEC and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy are working on a program for contractors to pass as qualified installers of roof solar panels,” he added.
Abdullah Al-Bishi, distribution services executive director at the SEC, said: “Once a contractor has installed solar panels at houses, malls and mosques, the SEC’s role is to test the product and ensure it’s of sound quality and merges with the electricity grid. The consumer can then use solar energy along with electricity, and any excess electrical energy can be sold back to the SEC. This will be implemented by July 2018.”
The chairman of the organizing committee of SASG, Bandar Allaf, met with Arab News and expressed great enthusiasm regarding this year’s conference.
“We’ve seen interest from more than 33 countries; there are almost 70 global exhibitors in this hall right now. Yesterday, we received more than 1,500 people who showed interest in the preconference workshops. Besides that, we have a very important session, ‘Women in Power,’ where we’ll listen to international and local experiences, best practices, successful stories for the Saudi engineers engaged in the energy sector. We’ll listen to the difficulties they’ve faced and their recommendations for a better work environment for women in this field.”
To commemorate the focus on the session, Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji spoke about female empowerment in the field: “The female contributors are plentiful and there will be even more opportunities for women in smart grid and renewable energy sectors; we’re fully focused on creating these opportunities at the moment.”
In Saudi Aramco’s booth, participants witnessed the work of a robotic cleaning device to rid solar panels of dust, which had been the main concern for those who are embarking on installing roof solar panels.
 


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.